On Property or Off Site, which should we choose?
So how do you decide what is best for you? Where should you stay in order to create the most magical Disney World experience ever.
DisneyWorld! It is amazing, fun, and magical.
But as anyone who has wanted to go lately or has joined a Facebook group, you may realize that the amount of planning that goes into a Disney trip is insane. Some people decide to plan down to the last minute of every day. Some prefer to wing it, and in both cases people always have the most amazing vacations ever. So what do we choose? How do we make our vacation magical?
I would say it depends on you and the needs of your family, but that is not why you are here. You need help in deciding what to do. And that will make you happy in deed. So let’s look at your options and why we decided to try off property for a while.
For years and the majority of my Disney trips I have stayed on property. The hotels are amazing. Each one tells it’s own story and if you let it, you will be transported to a whole new place.
There are many perks to staying on site, including the bus services, early magic hours for resort guests, earlier fast pass reservation times, magic bands, free dining at certain times, and many others. It is nice to be close by and also to not have to worry about transportation, parking, or having to wait to make reservations.
You feel like you are getting the star treatment from when you walk in. Even at the Value Resorts have a way of welcoming you. There seems to be a price bracket for everyone and often Disney will provide discounted rooms and free dining which make it even more affordable to be able to stay in the middle of the magic as they say.
I have stayed in all three tiers. Each has good and bad. Really where you stay greatly depends on your budget.
The Values are the most affordable.
They also tend to be bigger hotels making some of the amenities a bit of a walk. This includes the bus stops, so it is something to think about with small kids. You can request a preferred room for an additional fee. If you are a family of 4 or less these rooms can do quite nicely, but know that they are smaller than others.
The Moderates are in the middle.
They are nicer and a little bit bigger than the values. Port Orleans, French Quarter is my favorite of these and always has seemed to fill up quickest. I love the walk around the canal and the boat service to Disney Springs. There is a jazz player at night. I definitely recommend you stay at this resort if you are thinking of a moderate hotel stay. These hotels can still be large, the Coronado is also a convention hotel so it is pretty big. Avoid it during cheerleading week!
The Deluxe Resorts are well, Deluxe.
They are wonderful and located in great spots. The three on the monorail around the seven seas lagoons are spectacular. The Contemporary is the original and the architecture is amazing. You can even walk to the magic kingdom if you stay. The Contemporary has a restaurant on the top floor where you can watch the fireworks from the restaurant. You can request Park view and get a beautiful view of Cinderella’s Castle all night watching it change colors. The Grand Floridian is a Victorian era setting. You can find Mary poppins and some amazing decorations around. Animal kingdom Lodge is another great example. With Savannah views and amazing restaurants it is also a must stay.
So as you can see, there are so many options and lots of reasons to stay on site. It is amazing all that Disney has to offer. The experience each hotel provides is amazing and will definitely add to your trips.
So this may be a hard choice.
This is the big money saver. One that I was always afraid to do, because I didn’t want to miss out on the magic. Let me tell you that I was so wrong. Yes there are things you don’t get but your life can be so much easier especially if you have little kids. Not just that, but it may also be the difference between taking that trip to Disney or not.
On our last trip we rented an amazing 4 bedroom town house complete with a pool for the kids for the half the price of the hotel. We were three families and all had our own rooms including one for the kids. My favorite part was the laundry facilities. We had 4 kids all 6 and under. My sister in law needed to do laundry and it was so nice to be able to not have to go and wait for it.
The kids enjoyed their own private pool. They had fun swimming on the days that we weren’t in the parks. And we enjoyed all the space that they had to run around without us worrying that they were disrupting other guest. Toys everywhere and no worries. Yelling kids no worries! Midnight bottle of milk, no worries.
Oh and let me tell you about the grocery store as well as the publix located across the street from the complex entrance. We were able to get everything we needed for park days and non- park days. It was wonderful to not worry about delivery services or finding Almond milk for my kids. I loved giving them a good breakfast before we hit the parks every morning.
My wallet chooses
Let’s talk savings. This is the biggest factor between the two. The house was less than half of what we would of paid staying at a value resort. No, we did not get the free dining, but we did get to eat in the restaurants we wanted too. Even though some where pricey out of pocket it was still less than we would of paid staying on site with free dining.
When you stay on site you don’t have to get the park hopper tickets for every day in order to get free dining, so paying out of pocket will be cheaper with this option. You can by the tickets you need for the days that you will be there. If you enjoy the park hopper than do it! You will probably still come out saving money.
I liked having the extra room in our budget to treat the kids to souvenirs and special treats. I liked the lazier feeling around the house on our days away from the parks. I liked the freedom of being able to pick up anything we wanted.
And if you are worried about transportation, don’t be. We stayed less than a mile for the Disney entrance. We left early and in time for rope drop and where able to park close enough to just walk into the parks. This was nice because we didn’t have to dismantle our stollers to get on a tram or on a bus either at the beginning nor at the end of our day. It was nice to just push the kids in the stroller and get them in the car without worrying about them having a seat on the bus.
So, what is my choice?
Really staying off site has some amazing perks. Especially if you have smaller children or a larger family.
Another worry is the Fast Pass or Dining Reservations, but don’t. We were able to get all of the reservations that we wanted even at a later date. We did have to make some choices and switch times or days around but we were still able to take the kids on everything they wanted. It worked out so well that on our upcoming trip we will be staying off site in the same area again.
I hope that this helps you to see the positives of both. There are also negatives to both, but I don’t want to talk about that. Both options are wonderful and will give you a magical trip. Take a look at your budget and remember that a trip to Disney off site is better than no trip at all.
Please don’t discount this idea, you won’t regret it I promise.
If you have stayed off site before, let me know in the comments what you most enjoyed or didn’t.
So now that we have all of that out of the way let’s plan this trip. You can read my post
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